I previously wrote about Broadspire and its practice of paying providers via credit card. Aside from the burdensome cost to providers, we’ve been hearing about other troubling aspects to this situation.
Broadspire’s communications regarding these credit card payments have been seen as strong-arming providers into accept this method of payment. The DWC explicitly does not allow claims administrators to require that providers accept payments from them via credit card. However, providers have told us that they felt they had no option but to accept credit card payments from Broadspire.
The intended interpretation of this paragraph in the Broadspire letter is pretty clear:
In accordance with your MasterCard Agreement, a ****** is a legal and recognized form of payment for claims administration and therefore must be considered as such. Any attempt to deny payment could be a violation of your merchant agreement and result in non-payment.*
The clear implication is that the provider must accept the credit card payment and that not accepting this payment will mean not getting paid at all. Broadspire offers no other option.
In fact, though, providers can opt out, but that fact is nowhere on the letter.
We cry foul! This kind of bullying is unconscionable and inexcusable. We understand that the workers’ comp payment process is now adversarial, but threats of non-payment and sneaky tactics are beyond the pale.
To make it even worse, Broadspire seems to be sending the directions to retrieve these credit card payments, without prior warning or consent, via unsecured fax lines. Note that there are several things wrong with this: no prior warning and consent is one, unsecured fax lines is another, and still a third issue is that Broadspire expects providers to take additional steps to retrieve these payments. Once a provider notices that there is a fax, he or she has to follow detailed instructions to process the payment, and I’m not sure where in this process an EOR and reconciliation come in.
I can see where faxing credit card payments are a boon to claims administrators: easier to process than writing a check and maybe they even get airline miles out of it, who knows? But there is no upside for providers when accepting credit card payments. That’s why the DWC rules prohibit forcing providers to accept credit card payments from claims administrators.
Although we’ve previously noted that Broadspire is generally pretty good when it comes to being compliant, lately we’ve been disappointed by policies that make it appear to be a poor citizen of the workers’ compensation community.
In another post, I’ll set out the steps that providers should take if they don’t want to accept Broadspire credit card payments.
*Here’s a screenshot of the actual letter, which is just a bit hard to read:
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